Your project specification or material finish warranty likely has some language that you may gloss over thinking, “it’s all Greek to me.” Here’s a quick introduction to Delta E to demystify conversations on color and empower you to demand more from your material manufacturer.
Delta E (or ∆E) is a calculation of the change in color as measured in the Hunter Lab color space on a three-dimensional axis L a b.
Delta E represents the difference between a given color and a different color. Because visual perception can vary, color is defined in a 3D color space using a three-point axis. There are two important reasons to measure color difference. First is color matching to ensure paint accuracy before it is applied to building materials. The second is to determine the degree of change over time, often seen as fading, to verify the finish performs as expected after installation.
A Delta E of 1 may be perceptible by some with close inspection. A Delta E of 5 may be noticeable at a glance.
Your next project deserves both color accuracy and longevity.
Have a little more time? Read ALPOLIC’s thorough analysis of calculating Delta E and why it matters.